Crew boats as war fighters?!?

If the model is an indication, it looks like the USN wants to cut & paste crew boat hulls as missle platforms in an “Optionally Unmanned” scheme.

…who is going to want to ride a crew boat around a CBG or SAG?!?

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Worked in Vietnam
The Swift boats of the brown water navy were based on crew boats.
The PBRs were based on a recreational glass hull.
Maybe they would be effective against those swarms of fishing boats in the SCS that are (not) part of the Chinese Navy
Different world now though.


Yes, aren’t OUSVs marvelous? You steer them from a desk at Long Beach CA or Little Rock AZ via your mobile phone and missiles are launched automatically killing anything and you are a winner. USN is really improving.

I rode Boston Whalers (fishing boats) with a few tactical additions, so I get it!


well I believe the number one reason is that proven Off-the-shelf commercial options start to sound very interesting when you look at the cost overruns and utter failure of programs like the USS Zumwalt and LCS platforms.


Agreed; and the gov’t used to work that way. The San Fran Maritime Museum had a link to a 1938 (?) SNAME article based on speech by the Chief Constructor of the USCG where he specifically referenced using proven commercial vessel construction techniques/procedures to lower the costs.

Need to find that link as it is a great article.

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The OUSV is only without sailors and officers, when it attacks and becomes a LUSV armed with VLS. Then all is automatic. It has been tested November 2020! Then an ExWS fired an SM-6. An SEWIP BLK II was also tested. The OUSV is actually just a roro ship! After having fired all the missiles aboard, the crew return aboard and the ship just return to port and roll on another bunch of missiles. It is a fantastic development of naval warfare. When I was a Swedish Navy officer 1970, I transformed a cargo ship into a mine layer in 24 hrs and it sank the whole attacking fleet in a week.

Did you guys know that MSC tugs are really modified offshore supply vessels? I think this would be something similar to this.

On my first ship after I joined MSC in 1991, we were anchored in Singapore. I had just come off of the midwatch, and the unlicensed engineer who was also on the midwatch shared the liberty boat with me. I looked across the anchorage, and I saw an American flag offshore supply vessel. I was pretty excited to see this, as I had worked aboard such vessels in the Gulf of Mexico in the '80s.

I said to the engineer, Hey! Take a look at that American osv over there! He looked and looked, and said where is it in relationship to that tugboat? I told him no, that’s not a tugboat, that’s an offshore supply vessel.

He thought I was stupid and ignorant.

The LCVP, 25,000 built in WW2 was based on the Eureka work boat built by Higgins. His commercial boat was identical to the LCP spoon bow model without ramp. The Navy resisted his design preferring a deeper draft carvel planked boat for landing troops.

Side by side test Eureka design preformed much better, faster and cheaper to build. It was chosen by Army and Marines with a bow ramp modification, landing troops closer to shore fast unloading saved many lives. . Higgins designed the ramp in short order with no Navy input.

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I worked in Iraq for Swiftships as an OSV subject matter expert, etcetera…The Iraqis have 6 or 8 crew boats set up as armed vessels, cruise the shat Al Arab, they do pretty good, small enough draft to get placed the others can’t. But completely automated? Saw that before, worked on a boat long ago called the Candy Man, Candy Feet Crew Boat. That sparkly Cap on there would drive that sucker with his foot, but most of the time, not even that. Ahead of his time? DARPA research?